Monday, January 06, 2014

Sunday Afternoon

Yesterday I chose to cook soup for our supper and I chose a recipe called "Peasant Soup" by Rachael Ray. I like a lot of Rachel's recipes because they don't take too long to prepare and she largely uses ingredients I have handy but the food tastes like I slaved over it.  Her Peasant Soup recipe was true to it's name - definitely a poor man's soup packed full of low-cost veggies like cabbage and carrots and onions - (Note: I did not have leek on-hand so that was omitted this time and I also wanted it to be vegan so I skipped the ham and used veggie broth instead of chicken broth but I added frozen yellow beans from our garden harvest and increased the onion and black pepper plus added about 1/8 cup of dry red wine) and after I began to make it, I realized her recommendation of a crusty bread to accompany the soup was absolutely not a recommendation but a requirement.
Thus, I chose to conquer my fear of bread baking because the only bread we had in the house was soft(ish) sandwich bread from the grocery (don't judge us, we didn't have time to make all our various shopping stops this week!).  I chose a recipe I had saved on my Pinterest cooking board for a "quick" yeast French Baguette style bread and set to work.  Mid-way through making the dough I ran out of white flour (the flour listed in the recipe) and had to finish up with whole-wheat flour which I suspect impacted the end result.  Also, the recipe proclaimed to be quick and it was but I suspect the quickness combined with the flour combo caused the bread to be a little off.  The end result was definitely a tasty French Baguette style bread with a crusty outer shell but the combination of the whole-wheat flour and reduced proof time possibly caused it to be significantly denser than a true French Baguette style loaf.  Regardless, we ate it and enjoyed it.  And, truthfully, this small foray into bread baking me has given me just enough confidence to try another bread recipe in the very near future.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, the soup turned out great even with the omissions and changes I made to make it vegan and when it was cooking while the bread was baking my house smelled amazing.
Before & After

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